Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Work in Progress Wednesday

Wow, it has been over a month since my last official WIP Wednesday posting. And it feels even longer than that.

When I last posted a WIP Wednesday progress wwaaayyy back in August, I had plans for finishing off revisions and beginning work on a brand new shiny and exciting WIP.

Except that didn't happen.

Instead I am once again elbow deep in Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea.

Up to this point when talking about revisions and rewrites I have used the two words interchangeably. However, as I have begun to make the latest changes to BTDATDBS I have been very carefully referring to them as reWRITES - and suddenly the difference is very clear to me.

Now other writers may see this another way, and this is strictly my own way of looking at things, but here is what I see as the difference between reWRITES and reVISIONS.

REVISIONS. This is something that is done with red pen in hand (well technically you can use any color ink... but why would you?) where you cross out little bits, maybe write in other little bits, and just generally make a lot of squiggly lines indicating the need to split a paragraph or correct a misspelled word. In a word, revisions are nit-picky.

REWRITES. This, on the other hand, is something that is done with a power saw, and a take no prisoners attitude. It's big, bold, and sometimes even bloody. No part of your manuscript is safe - from characters to plot points to location - anything can be torn to shreds at any moment. Of course, it's not only about destruction - because then you have to go back and fill in the now gaping holes. Depending on the level of devastation - you may end up doing a lot of rebuilding.

After having recently been given some excellent suggestions on how to make my manuscript stronger, it is in reWRITES of this type that I currently find myself. These will actually be the biggest rewrites I have undertaken on this MS. Prior to this, I'd say I did about two rewrites - although much more minor ones - and they were after getting feedback from my first beta readers. Since then there have been many many many many many - just uncountable really - round of revisions. Revisions, for me, are kind of like that - one round just blends into another. And after I finish these reWRITES, there will be another round of reVISIONS - acting as a clean up crew of sorts.

So, that's where I'm currently at. What about you? How are your works in progress? And do you differentiate between reWRITES and reVISIONS (your definitions don't have to be the same as mine) when you are working on your MS?

If you want to participate in WIP Wednesday, simply post your own WIP Wednesday entry on your blog and leave a link to it in the comments below. Or if you don't have a blog, feel free to report your progress directly into the comments box.

For more detailed information concerning what all this nonsense is about please consult the original Work in Progress Wednesday posting.

Feel free to also make use of the lovely little WIP Wednesday logo as well!


  1. I definitely differentiate between revising and rewriting. Revising is routine; rewriting is radical!

  2. Oh yeah, REWRITES are huge! It's like taking a chunk out of a cake that tastes funny and putting in a different layer. They you do the REVISIONS which is the frosting that keeps it all together so you never see the rewrites and it looks all pretty. LOL!

  3. I hadn't thought of it like this before. I'd actually considered revisions as your rewrites and editing as your revisions. LOL! All confused here. *snort*
    Good luck with those though. They may be painful, but it's likely your story will be so beautiful when you're done. :-)

  4. This is my very first week of WIPW! Yeah! I linked up to you in the title of my post and am giving you my link here:


  5. I think I'm about to soon learn exactly what rewrites entails! My publisher is currently in the process of composing my rewrite letter! Yikes! I like the chain saw analogy. I'll just have to be careful not to saw at myself in frustration! :)

  6. I like your definitions. I think I will shamelessly copy them. Rewrites are hard, revisions are fun. But then, I'm weird.

    Good luck!

  7. Good luck with your rewrites! That is a huge job.
    I've been doing a lot of editing and critiquing lately, it seems, and just writing for writing's sake. I have can't-finish-a-project-itis.

  8. I shudder to think of reWRITES, too big a job for this linear writer...heehee. reVisions, I can handle that. :)

  9. A rewrite to me means opening up a blank document and starting over. That's what I've done with my novel Monarch. I've been rewriting it for months now, and I'm almost done.

    Bloody is the right word. It's taken about all my blood and then some. *sigh*

    Good luck. This is what we do. Write.


  10. I get the difference between the two. The first I can handle; the second makes me shudder.


    I'm in procrastination mode with my WIP. What a terrible, terrible place to be...tsk, tsk.

  11. There is such a HUGE difference between revisions and rewriting. I call revisions edits and rewrites revisions, though. Because when I revise, I'm doing all that chopping, moving and rebuilding you talk about. Just different words. :)

  12. Hey, this game sounds fun. Matt Betts sent me here to get started on WIP Wednesday.

    I absolutely love your differention between rewriting and revision. It was always soupy and blurry for me before, but you have officially claried it. So thanks.

    You don't mind if I blogroll and follow you and everything, do you?